Electric circus – Rehearsal of the electric circus – Magnificent circus

Electric circus – Rehearsal of the electric circus – Magnificent circus

Electric circus – Rehearsal of the electric circus – Magnificent circus

When I heard about this game developed by Zen Studios that wasn’t a pinball game, I admit that I wasn’t directly motivated. But curious by nature, I still offered myself and I don’t regret even for a moment that I did because this game is one of my favorites this year.


Welcome to London!

Electric circusas the name suggests, it takes place in the circus field which is not very represented in video games, especially to make it a tactical RPG.

The story takes place at the end of the 19th century when the Circus Electrique tries to make a comeback. Innocent Londoners appear to be controlled to become abominations and prey on their fellow citizens. It is war in the streets, but fortunately the Circus Electrique artists are good at fighting and try to discover the end of the story, pushed by Amélia, journalist and nephew of the circus owner.

From the initial screen we are inserted into the atmosphere of the title with the image that seems to have been taken with an old camera in a steampunk London at the Belle Époque.

We start a game by choosing the difficulty and the game starts directly via a chapter 1 that serves as a qualitative tutorial, because the game is rich, but knows how to distill its information and news at the right pace so that the player does not feel overwhelmed by the options.

An alleged design

What a circus my circus

One of the first things you discover and spend time on is infrastructure management.

There is obviously the marquee in which we create shows to attract people and thus have income of money and objects.
But to put on shows, artists are needed and they are recruited in the train area, while the infirmary treats the wounds.
These basic buildings are joined as the game progresses by others that all have a specific use and again this is done at a perfect pace so the player never gets lost.

All of these buildings have in common that they can be upgraded for quality and / or options, but this depends on the level of electric coil you advance as you progress through the game.

A real village

Traveling artists

All these structures would be nothing and would have no use without the circus performers.

Each artist is characterized above all by his type: Strongman, Fire-eater, Clown, etc. which defines the basic skills. For a given type the fighting skills are not very varied, two Clowns generally have 5 out of 6 identical skills, but this is intentional, because they are archetypes. The Strongman is more of a tank, the Fire Eater a dps and the Clown a healer / buffer.

Performers also have show statistics (laughter, amazement, etc.) which make them more or less effective in various areas when it comes to participating in the show, knowing that to stage said show it is necessary to achieve minimum scores in these statistics.

We have to take care of this troupe by making sure we have enough food for everyone and that the artists don’t get bored, otherwise they might decide to leave.
Likewise, an artist who dies in combat is permanently lost.
So we become as attached to them during their progression as we are disgusted when we lose them.

The game takes place daily, in which there are two main axes:
– prepare a show for the evening
– Explore London to help people and find the source of madness

For the show, this comes in the form of a template to be completed with the right artists according to many criteria: type of artist, affinity, statistics, relationships with others, etc.
The first models, simple, allow only to give life to mediocre shows that bring little. But we’re unlocking more and more sophisticated ones giving rave reviews in the daily gazette if we have artists to hire.

The title Fakir

Fighting artists

As for exploration, it’s about choosing a path in London in order to trigger events until a fight ends the day.

The events are very varied and range from simple discussions to various successful mini-games. It is not uncommon to be surprised at the turn certain encounters can take.

Fights make up most of the time we spend on the title.
They take place turn by turn where each character activates once per turn depending on their speed.
Each team has 4 characters and the position is very important, because it defines the skills that can be used.
For example, the Strongman is recommended for the first two positions, because if not there, most of his skills are useless.
Likewise, abilities affect specific locations and therefore may be unusable in some cases.
This position management is one of the main tactical axes of the game, because it is entirely possible to move opponents to positions that are less advantageous for them. Also, the AI ​​doesn’t hesitate to put this type of stick in the wheels.

In addition to a life gauge, characters have a devotion gauge that affects the effectiveness of skills and which, when set to zero, causes enemies to flee or abandon your artists. It is therefore quite possible (and advisable) to focus in some cases on the bar of devotion rather than on that of life.

With the number of different types of artists and different skills, very dissimilar groups can be created which can be effective in various ways. And all the better, because even the conditions of the fights can vary and you will have a high level Fire Eater, it will be almost useless in case of rain.

Flame Yoga!

Spectacular show

The graphic style and the soundtrack are absolutely perfect and uniform Switch it is pleasing to the eye. No slowdowns to notice, normal given the type of game, but I’ve seen others miss it. The only small technical flaw if we can get fussy would be a bit of a long load (on Switch) before the fights.

Like a kid discovering a circus show, we are regularly surprised by a novelty or gameplay addition that comes even before we tire of the system.

If we add to this that the game is sold in a low price range, Zen Studios And Interactive saber make for me a flawless for a product that initially did not seem like much.

Circus Electrique, as a tactical RPG, is not for everyone, but for people interested in this style of play (close to Darkest dungeon), is a real gem not to be missed.

Enemies have a technological advantage

Tested by Aragnis on Switch with a version provided by the publisher.

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